Can You Pair Pinot Grigio With Christmas Dinner?
With Christmas quickly approaching, now is the best time to think about which wine you’re going to serve with Christmas dinner.
No matter what you have as your Christmas dinner - turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, a nut roast, or even goose, there’s a perfect wine out there that will complement the flavours. But does Pinot Grigio pair with Christmas dinner?
Keep reading to learn more about Pinot Grigio, and whether you can pair the delicious wine with Christmas dinner. We’ve also included some of the best Christmas dinner wine pairings.
How Does Pinot Grigio Taste?
Pinot Grigio is a delicious wine, made from the Pinot Gris grape. The Pinot Gris grape was first grown in the vineyards of Burgundy in France and makes a crisp white wine loved by millions around the world. In fact, it’s one of the most popular types of white wine in the world.
However, you’re most likely more familiar with Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy. The wine made its way to Northern Italy where the grapevines thrived - specifically Lombardy, Fruili, and Veneto.
Italy has remained the largest producer of delicious Pinot Grigio across the globe for generations, despite originating from Burgundy in France.
Some other leading producers of Pinot Grigio include California, New Zealand, and Austria - each offering their own nuances flavours and aromas.
The taste of Pinot Grigio can vary depending on where it was produced, but it’s typically zesty with citrusy and floral flavours and aromas.
Pinot Grigio is light, crisp, and dry, and can be enjoyed any season, at any event, any by anybody (providing they’re over 18!).
You can find flavours of pear, green apple, lime, peach, and honeysuckle, and maybe even a hint of honey. Pinot Grigio typically has high acidity levels, making it less sweet than Chardonnay, for example.
Pinot Grigio may develop further flavours with age - some tertiary flavours you may taste include nutty notes and marzipan.
You may be wondering what the difference is between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris - after all, they have very similar names.
Well, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are both made using the Pinot Gris grape. However, the key difference is that Pinot Gris is produced in France.
The flavour profiles of the wine can vary depending on the region in which it was produced. For example, the conditions in Lombardy may produce sweeter Pinot Gris, whereas Italy may produce a crisper, more citrus Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are named after the grape - Pinot Gris. However, Gris means grey in French, whereas Grigio means grey in Italian, which explains the difference in the names.
The Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio grape is typically white with a greyish look. However, if the grape is left on the vine for longer (late harvest), then it may develop a pinkish or brown hue.
You can find Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris on the shelves of pretty much any supermarket in the UK, so regardless of what you’re having for Christmas dinner, you’re sure to find the perfect bottle for you.
Does Pinot Grigio Pair With Christmas Dinner?
In short, yes, you can pair Pinot Grigio with your Christmas. However, this depends on what you’re having for Christmas dinner.
It’s a general rule of thumb that you pair red wines with red meats. However, if you prefer white meats such as chicken or turkey with your Christmas dinner, then a light Pinot Grigio is sure to make a great pairing and not draw the attention away from the flavours of the light meat.
Although red is the go-to for Christmas dinner wine pairings, some white wines can pair perfectly too, including Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio can also pair well with your Christmas dinner if you have goose as your main meat. However, opt for a slightly aged Pinot Gris that has enough acidity and complexity to match the flavours of goose - as goose can be pretty full-flavoured and needs a strong enough wine to match.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll have no trouble finding a suitable vegan wine. The good news is that Pinot Grigio can pair perfectly with vegan Christmas dinner options, including white meat substitutes.
You don’t want a wine that will overpower the flavours of your vegan dinner, but you also want something that can complement the flavours perfectly. With meat-free options, it’s best to avoid heavy reds and choose fresher, crisp whites such as Pinot Grigio.
If you’re enjoying a meal with plenty of green vegetables, then Pinot Grigio can make a great wine pairing. However, be sure to opt for a lighter Pinot Grigio as opposed to a heavier, fuller bottle with crisp and fresh flavours.
Best Christmas Dinner Wine Pairings
Unfortunately, Pinot Grigio doesn’t go with every Christmas dinner - particularly if you enjoy red meat with your roasties and pigs in blankets.
Although goose may have been the main meat historically, most people opt for turkey in the modern world.
Plenty of wines can pair well with turkey on your Christmas dinner, including both reds and whites.
The way you prepare your turkey can determine which wines pair best - for example, lighter wines pair best with the flavours of stuffing, whereas you may want to choose a red to pair with a plain turkey.
Turkey typically has a mild flavour and a dry texture. When you’re preparing your turkey, be cautious when using seasoning as some seasonings might overpower the flavours of certain wines.
A Pinot Noir that’s light-bodied and low in tannins is always a great go-to for pairing with turkey, but white wine can also make a great wine pairing.
A glass of Sauvignon Blanc is sure to complement the flavours of your turkey, especially if you prefer a lighter wine.
However, you could also try sparkling wine with your Christmas dinner. After all, Prosecco and Champagne are perfect for celebrations - and what better celebration than a Christmas dinner toast?
Riesling is also a great choice, as it pairs with most items on the Christmas dinner menu, such as Yorkshire puddings and potatoes.
If you include beef in your Christmas dinner, then you should choose red wines over white wines.
This is because red wine pairs best with red meat - and white wines may not be able to stand up to the flavours of the red meat. However, if you prefer white wine, could choose a richer, fuller-bodied white.
Try a full-bodied red with your beef dinner, as red meat can stand up to the tannins in red wines, and won’t overpower the flavours.
Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon can pair well with beef, as they’re both full-bodied and firm in tannins, and can pair well with fattier cuts of meat.
If you prefer a fish with your Christmas dinner, then the best wine to pair it with depends on what type of fish you’re serving.
For example, a fish pie can pair well with Rose or Chardonnay, but salmon or tuna pair best with a light Pinot Noir.
If you prefer a smoky fish, then try a Sherry as the tangy and salty taste can pair well with the smoky flavours.
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